Monday, June 29

10E2461: Closing Time

Our local Goodwill store plays Closing Time at the end of most every day to kick people out remind people it is almost time to close. Gets a big smile.

I have been fortunate to be very busy with the digital asset library job at Image Relay - but 10engines is not closing. Heck, might post again this afternoon...

Thursday, June 25

10E2460: Poler - Scout Shorts

Cord shorts. ATK (above the knee). Drainholes mean rope swings... $65 via Poler #retrotastic

Friday, June 12

10E2459: 'Ice' or 'Slush'

Summer is basically here in the North East. Plants and seeds are in. Stain the deck now or forget it. And if you want a cold treat from the spa store you get a slush. Right? That's what you call it - that cup of frozen water with some kind of flavor - that isn't quite frozen. Or are you an Italian ice man... ? Just don't touch the mixture pumped from demented juice containers at 7-11. Sure most of them have an ingredient list matching an Elf's 4 main food groups... but they are cold and refreshing as hell and a chance to chat with your local storekeeper as he scoops it out for you.

The favorite slush flavor of kids everywhere... blue!

But the naming convention is a question that has baffled the minds of urbanites and rurals alike. The flavors and traditions are fascinating and completely regional - this is another great use for my favorite reference material The Dictionary of Regional American English. Maybe you call is a "snow cone" in the Chesapeake Bay? Or "shave ice" if you are from Hawaii... I went round the horn and got some great stories back as below. Spoiler alert - in the Boston area SLUSH is king...

Image via

Joe - Made Right Here
In Delaware it is a snow cone. As a kid they used to give you a FREE snow cone for foul balls at the Felton little league park. Kids used to full on race and brawl over foul balls. I'm talking rugby scrum. You had to (GOT TO!) walk all the way up to the snack bar with the ball and trade it in for your favorite flavor. For that 200 +/- yards you were THE MAN. Head high, baseball proudly displayed. You had a free cone coming and you wanted everyone to know. They stopped that reward program some years ago (presumably due to kids getting hurt) but every time I see a ball over the backstop, there's a 10 year old in me that always wants to give chase. Grape please.

Shannon - The Library Effect
This NYer calls it slush (or slushie) when it is drinkable. An 'ice' when it is Italian, push pop or cup, and shaved ice when it is Dominican/Puerto Rican/Caribbean and vended from a cart.

Cathy - local rockstar librarian
Slush. Specifically (and only!) Richie's. My Philly friend just told me about 'water ice.' Eaten on its own, or mixed in layers w/ soft serve ice cream.

Matt - William Brown Project
Not slush unless I digress to a frozen margarita and of course that s*** happens... haha Slushy cocktails all the way.

Kristen - The Lady Project
In Rhode Island it's all about Del's Lemonade. The sign that summer has begun in Providence, is the Del's carts popping up on the street. Made with real lemons, you know it's the real thing with the bits of lemon in the cup and the proper way to consume Del's is never with a spoon, you have to drink it and then chew the lemon bits. Starts out a bit too frozen, but after a few minutes in your cup, the melting has reached the perfect drinking consistency. And yes, a splash of citrus vodka is often a critical part of the experience...
 Ok - that looks damn good...
Hawaii, on the other hand, is shave ice (never shaved, always shave). A solid block of ice that rotates while the blade shaves off ice into a cup, to then be covered with your choice of syrup. Some touristy areas, to our horror, now use ice crushing machines, which makes a terrible snow cone. Shave ice should melt on your tongue. I like mine with some mac nut ice cream on the bottom for a little surprise.
 Yeah she takes great food pictures. 

 Guiseppe - An Affordable Wardrobe
The short answer is Richie's Slush made in nearby Everett, MA. So disappointed when they switched to using the words "Italian Ice"on the cups two years ago. [Readers - G wrote a long piece on slush a few years ago that also touches on - not gentrification of his town but let's say a recent 'interaction' with transplants and misplaced priorities... worth a close read].

Mike - Repeat Press
Slush. [Ok then! Sidenote if you are local and want to hear Mike Dacey speak about his letterpress studio and running the Fringe space next week, tickets are here].

 Max - Basil Hayden's
SnoBall if you're going to SnoWizard in New Orleans. Sno-Blitz if you go to Hansen's in New Orleans. The snow cone was effectively invented if not popularized in New Orleans.

Growing up, we'd go to this place called Hogoboom's in Webster Groves [near St. Louis, MO -ed.], and I'd get the Silver Fox. Little did I know, Ronnie Sciortino, featured in the story above, is the owner of the company that invented my favorite flavor. We called them snow cones. Worder Ice [for water ice as we learned from Cathy -ed], as it's pronounced in Philly, is most famously produced by Fred's or Polish.


Thursday, June 11

10E2458: Father's Day Gift Guide

Pretty much anything on 10e would work as a Father's Day gift, though have to mention - how did Father's Day become such a thing?? Feel like we get a pretty good deal generally... now gifts and a slap-up ribs lunch too! Just for towing the line?

Anyhow, the picks should probably be made of either leather, cast iron, slate, wood or a combination of the above...

Bisley cups. Nothing says i'm ready to shoot like a swift snort. I have my grandfather's set but you can start the tradition for about 20quid.

Cast iron cricket bootjack. Classic. $20.

The original face-saver from Ursa Major; cedar/mint/lime. Essential kit for bearded types as it also sloughs (right word?) and stops you getting itchy. $28 and lasts several months.

I am late to the party on this beef jerky company Krave. I like saddle leather jerky too but this is like dry slices of steak. Soft. No chemical aftertaste. I ate a bag today for breakfast... And their smaller line available at whole foods also looks pretty snazzy.

Slate coasters. Possibly made of rescued roof slates from a lumbercamp's chapel in the Green Mountains... Sub$30.

R. Murphy clam knife in Island Creek Oyster orange. $15. No brainer.

Tuesday, June 2

10E2457: Levi's "New Nevada" w/ historian Tracey Panek

Photos via Levi Strauss & Co.

Recently Levi Strauss & Co acquired an 1880 pair of jeans found in Nevada. This may be one of the oldest pairs in existence. The Levi's archive have now dubbed the here-to-forgotten style "New Nevada". Read the complete backstory at the Levi's Archive blog Unzipped.

I wanted to hear a bit more about the collection at Levi's generally, and the academic principals that guided some of their decisions. Current Levi's historian Tracey Panek was good enough to talk about the "New Nevada" acquisition and more - thanks!
10E: Can you talk about the collection policy a little at Levis - are you involved in the search for items for the archive at all? Do you look for holes in the collection and make suggestions? Is enough ever "enough"?

TP: Our goal is to have the best collection of Levi’s® vintage clothing in the world. We review the Archives and sometimes look for specific items that are missing in the collection. Occasionally, I even seek out unique items, like the well-worn trucker jacket owned by a rodeo bull rider that I tracked down in New Mexico [see below - ed.]. We also continue to add current LS&Co. pieces to the Archives like our women’s 501®CT jeans.

10E: What are a few of your other favorite items from the archive?

TP: I love all the vintage waist overalls and am ecstatic about the New Nevada! Stacia Fink, our conservator, and I have spent hours studying the new pants with a magnifying glass, comparing them to other jeans in the collection.

I have recently been enamored with two pairs of waist overalls found in the Commodore Mine in southwest Colorado. One pair from the late 1930s is covered with burn holes, has a well-preserved leather patch, a worn-out back cinch, and signs of cuffing at the leg openings. The second pair was made during World War II. The back cinch is gone along with the rivets on the crotch and watch pocket—a wartime conservation effort. One amazing feature of the pants is the clear outline of chaps that were worn over them—an interesting detail revealing how these 501s® were worn

10E: Could you talk about your career path to Levi's historian? You worked with Lynn Downey (former archivist at Levi Strauss & Co) Bit of a legend... how was that?

I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in history. Before joining LS&Co., I was the Historian and Archivist for AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, managing a corporate history program for the 100+ year old company.  
As two historians based in San Francisco, Lynn Downey and I have worked with each other in the past. Both Lynn and I served on the board of our professional organization. Lynn is definitely a legend and has been a de facto spokesperson for our profession. I’m thrilled to be following in her footsteps!  
10E: Some companies, notably Levi's and LLBean have really grasped the significance of a corporate archive for materials. I believe it goes beyond the recent "heritage trend" of the last 10 years - but good timing for sure. Carhartt only recently is getting organized this way. Can you talk about some archival / business victories you have seen in your time there so far? [sidenote - the 1906 fire in San Fran destroyed the Levi's offices, factory; they have been rebuilding the archive ever since]

TP: I have been working in corporate history for 20 years. I think that farsighted companies understand the importance of their heritage.

I celebrate everyday triumphs as well as major long-term initiatives. I respond to requests almost daily from designers or employees. It’s incredibly satisfying to dig up a forgotten or unknown detail about the company or to uncover a unique design feature that I know will inspire a new creation. I uncovered a 1930s label recently for one designer. It’s so beautiful it’s definitely worth recreating.

10E: I assume you scan/photograph a lot for external researchers / print etc. Could you touch on the archival principle of 're-use'? Does the business side of the operation see those economies? Archives (such as Levi's) are almost content marketing machines in their own right - rather than money sinks that 'non-believers' might politicize them as. Good stuff.
TP: We recently launched a digital initiative in the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives that began with a four-week photo shoot of our garment collection. Going forward, our heritage materials will be accessible at our fingertips via computer. We can take a newspaper advertisement published in 1903 and use it today to illustrate a magazine article or to bring a smile to our fans following us on social media.

Another case in point—the New Nevada acquisition. Sharing digital images of these 1880s waist overalls in their remarkable “nearly new” condition, helps us authenticate our position as the originator of the world’s first blue jeans with an ongoing commitment to top quality, durable products.

10E: Do you know if they plan to reproduce this pant?
TP: Our designers are still reviewing the pants. We have no current plans to reproduce them.

10E: Finally, this always puzzled me - why did Levi's pick a New Hampshire company to make their denim when based out of San Francisco?  
TP: There were no denim mills in San Francisco when Levi Strauss & Co. began manufacturing blue jeans in 1873. We selected the Amoskeag Mill to purchase top-of-the-line denim for our waist overalls. [The New Nevada jeans are made of 9 oz. denim. This denim was purchased by Levi Strauss & Co. from the Amoskeag Mill, which was located in the town of Manchester in the state of New Hampshire.  The denim is dyed with vegetable (plant) indigo. These were made before synthetic indigo was discovered and put into use. The denim is not the “red selvage” denim we associate with our products. Red selvage denim was created for us by Cone Mills (Greensboro, North Carolina) in the 1920s.] North Carolina’s White Oak Mills didn’t get started until about 20 years later (1891). You can view a complete timeline here:
Thanks to Tracey for taking time out to correspond. I for one would love to see repros of the New Nevada. Fascinating insight to this hard working archive.